Weekend Box Office: ‘Snowden,’ ‘Blair Witch,’ And ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’ All Fail To Break $10 Million

There were three wide openers this weekend, and they all got torched. Out of Blair Witch, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and Snowden, not one broke $10 million in the US.

Blair Witch (Josh’s review) fared the best of the three, at $9.65 million, which is nearly double $5 million production budget. The marketing budget, unfortunately, was more like $20 million. Blair Witch 2, by comparison, earned $13 million back in 2000, which would be about $21 million today. If Blair Witch had been a critical smash it might have a chance of continuing to play, but with a 37% recommended rating on RottenTomatoes and a D+ Cinemascore from audiences, which is the worst I’ve heard of since I started writing this column, there’s not much chance of that.

Bridget Jones’s Baby, following the last Bridget Jones movie by 12 years, was next at $8.24 million, on a $35 million budget, which also isn’t very good. The film played 79% female and received a B+ Cinemascore. It would be considered a flop if not for its performance overseas, where it earned $29.9 million, including $11.3 million from the UK, biggest ever for a romantic comedy. Apparently Brits love Colin Firth even more than Americans. He’s like a human Paddington Bear. Paddington Human.

Then there was Snowden (my review), in number four with $8 million. It’s a disappointment, and indeed the worst opening of Oliver Stone’s career for a film opening in more than 2,000 theaters. Incredibly, the film received an A Cinemascore. And the studio is hoping awards buzz will keep Snowden playing a while longer.

Snowden is a smart and provocative thriller that connected strongly with audiences. While we’d like to have seen a slightly bigger number for the opening weekend, we are very encouraged by the A Cinemascore and exit polls and we expect the movie to thrive for several more weeks,” said Open Road marketing president Jonathan Helfgot in a statement. [THR]

Personally, I thought Snowden was such a pure expression of middlebrow hack work that it attempted to illustrate Edward Snowden’s intelligence by giving him a Rubik’s cube to play with and communicated its understanding of millennials by having Snowden meet his girlfriend on “geek-mate.com.” But hey, stranger things have happened. The King’s Speech won best picture, after all. Joseph Gordon-Levitt says he knew “almost nothing” about Edward Snowden before the movie, and that seems to be Snowden‘s target audience. I guess it will be a net positive if people go see Snowden, and then try to actually learn something about Edward Snowden.

Blair Witch, Bridget Jones, and Snowden finished two three four, which leaves… oh right, Sully, repeating at number one. The biopic eased just 37% and added $22 million for a domestic total of $70.5 million. I guess it’s hard to lose money betting on a Clint Eastwood movie starring Tom Hanks as a famous captain. It’s America’s dad, being directed by America’s crotchety grandpa.

Next week brings us Storks and The Magnificent Seven.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Sully $22,000,000 (-37.2) $6,241 $70,541,000
2 Blair Witch $9,650,000 $3,092 $9,650,000
3 Bridget Jones’s Baby $8,240,000 $2,815 $8,240,000
4 Snowden $8,023,000 $3,284 $8,023,000
5 Don’t Breathe $5,600,000 (-32.1) $1,746 $75,328,000
6 When the Bough Breaks $5,525,000 (-61.1) $2,460 $22,697,000
7 Suicide Squad $4,710,000 (-17.7) $1,719 $313,782,000
8 The Wild Life $2,650,000 (-20.7) $1,063 $6,664,000
9 Kubo and the Two Strings $2,509,000 (-24.0) $1,428 $44,240,000
10 Pete’s Dragon $2,041,000 (-34.2) $1,048 $72,805,000

[chart via ScreenCrush]

Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.